Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me an arc to review. Since this is a young children’s book, I didn’t really know what to expect despite the multiple positive reviews. But the synopsis sounded interesting so I was still really excited to see what the book held.
Frank doesn’t know how to feel when Nick Underbridge rescues her from bullies one afternoon. No one likes Nick. He’s big, he’s weird and he smells – or so everyone in Frank’s class thinks.
And yet, there’s something nice about Nick’s house. There’s strange music playing there, and it feels light and good and makes Frank feel happy for the first time in forever.
But there’s more to Nick, and to his house, than meets the eye, and soon Frank realises she isn’t the only one keeping secrets. Or the only one who needs help …
Frank is a character that I think anyone will sympathise with. She’s getting bullied at school, and the story portrays bullying in such an accurate way and it really shows just how complicated the situation is. The author captured Frank’s voice beautifully and he really did create such a brilliant character that is full of life despite the events that occur throughout the book. The most relatable part of Frank’s character is her angry discussions with her stomach… I feel ya girl!
Nick and Frank’s friendship was so fun to read about, and even though it wasn’t instant, I loved seeing it develop as the book went on. Nick is the weird kid in school that no one wants to be seen with, but Frank learns that there’s more to Nick than everyone thinks. Frank is drawn to Nick’s house because of the music, but when she and Nick become friends it’s beautiful and can stand up to anything and anyone.
I also loved the illustrations in the book by Levi Pinfold. I received an arc of this book with a laminated front cover so I didn’t expect there to be many drawings, but I think all of them were there. The creative black and white sketches filled up almost every page and it made it so much more fun to read. We were able to get an idea of what Frank and Nick could see, and it was such a creative way to bring to book to life.
I decided to give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. It was beautiful and fun yet dark and scary at the same time, but I think Harrold did an amazing job at that. Although it’s directed to a 9-12 age group, I think any reader would love this incredible read.
Comment below if you’ve read the book or any Harrold book and let me know what you thought! I’ll see you all real soon with a new blog post!